A day after signing three players on the first day of the new league year, the Titans showed they were even more determined to make a splash in free agency by inking three more players, defensive tackle Sammie Lee Hill, running back Shonn Greene, and linebacker Moise Fokou.
As I noted in yesterday's post, Sammie Lee Hill is a guy I need to get smarter on. The Titans had declared this offseason they were interested in adding bulk, and listed at 6'4", 329 pounds, he's definitely their biggest defensive lineman by a wide margin. I suspect his primary role is to be a nose tackle on early downs and a good run-stuffer. He started 12 games as a rookie, but as the Lions have added bodies to the defensive line has six starts over the past three years. Expect that total to rise with no Ndamukong Suh in front of him. He played about 40% of the snaps for the Lions last year, and in a modest sample size posted the best run stop rate of any Lions defensive lineman. I noted in Enemy Intelligence before this year's game that he was "better than you think." His deal is reported to be for $11.4 million over three years, with $4 million guaranteed, or your standard early free agency overpayment by about 30%.
Shonn Greene was another player that I discussed briefly in yesterday's post and showed up in Enemy Intelligence this year. Before that game, I noted that early in 2012 I thought Greene was the worst starting running back in the NFL, which pretty much matched his 2010 and 2011 form after a nice playoff run as a rookie. The second half of 2012, he played better though. Even the better version of Greene isn't much to write home about. He's a between the tackles runner without much burst or speed, though he showed some very small signs of elusiveness.
I've heard the comparison to LenDale White a lot; it's accurate in some ways and in others I suspect would have my Football Outsiders colleague Matt Waldman going crazy. Both players were only effective between the tackles because of a lack of speed, burst, or agility, but White was a non-physical back with good vision while Greene is a physical back with bad vision. His contract is reported to be for $10 million over three years, with $4.5 million guaranteed. Turns 28 in August. That is an INSANE amount of money for a not-young backup who midway through last season looked like he would never earn more than the league minimum on a second deal. He's definitely a stylistic complement to Chris Johnson, though.
Moise Fokou was yet another player noted in yesterday's post as a Titans target and is another guy the Titans "faced" in 2012, as a 3-4 inside linebacker for the Colts. He stood out to me so much I didn't mention him in either version of Enemy Intelligence, and he only played a combined 41 snaps between the two games. For the season, he played about 36% of the time, or roughly as much as Will Witherspoon, the man whose backup MLB/OLB role he'll be more or less assuming. His advanced statistics were okay in very modest sample sizes. He turns 28 in August and was signed to a two-year deal for which I have not seen financial terms.
I noted in yesterday's post the Titans were reportedly in pursuit of Danny Amendola, but he signed with the Patriots today. Wideout Brandon Gibson, late of the Rams, is reportedly heading for a visit in the next couple days. I do not think he's a player who deserves major playing time, but as a player who can play on the outside and has some size at 6'1", 210 pounds would be a more useful fifth receiver than Lavelle Hawkins. I do not think he is better or more useful than Kenny Britt, Kendall Wright, Nate Washington, or Damian Williams.